||H I K I N G
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
North Carolina/Tennessee Border
Sunday, November, 7, 2004
Topping out at 6,643 feet, this short but steep hike whisks the sightseer up 332 feet to the top of Clingmans Dome, the highest point along the Appalachian Trail. From there another 54 feet up takes the visitor atop an observation tower where, on an average day, you can see more than 20 miles into the distance. On those rare occassions, when the haze is completely absent, the sightseer can see as far as 100 miles into 7 states.
Clingman? Who was Clingman? Well, he was first a Civil War General then a US Senator. Thomas Lanier Clingman was also a prospector who reaped a good measure of wealth from timber and mineral interests in this area. I think he'd be proud to know that so many folks climb to the top of his namesake, however, he'd probably scratch his head at the weird looking observation tower. Looking more like a UFO, the tower proves interesting enough on its own to merit a hike up to the dome.
Come with me now, the hike is about to begin! You wouldn't what to miss the opportunity to see the surround terrain atop a UFO, would you?
Description & Pics